Satcom Direct puts Plane Simple antenna on market


Connectivity provider Satcom Direct (SD) has put its new Plane Simple KU-band antenna on the commercial market after two years of development and testing.

The tail-mount terminal is powered by the Intelsat FlexExec network, an airtime service dedicated specifically to business aviation. SD said it will allow customers greater flexibility and connectivity options that will be in line with expected operational costs, providing “reliable, global, customized connectivity solutions”.

SD has received FAA Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) for Bombardier’s Global 5000, 6000 and Express XRS aircraft, Dassault’s F200LX/LXS, and Gulfstream’s GIV, GIV-X, G450, GV, GV-SP and G550 type aircraft. Elsewhere, the European Aviation Safety Agency has confirmed STCs for the above Bombardier and Dassault models.

“Prior to the Plane Simple offering, high-speed connectivity options were limited by capacity, restrictive pricing plans, invasive installation, and were incompatible with changing satellite markets,” said Jim Jensen, CEO and founder, SD. “The Plane Simple antenna series resolves these needs, and we’re proud to make this advanced, innovative antenna technology available to new and existing customers.”

The company completed flight trials and said all those who participated in them have now become customers. SD told Corporate Jet Investor that it now has 21 undisclosed parties who have become customers as a result of the trials, with aircraft that are now STC-approved. 

One company that took part was Executive Jet Management, a sister company of NetJets, testing the terminal on its Global 5000. David Utley, maintenance manager, Executive Jet Management said the ability to integrate third-party tools helped the company operate more efficiently. He added: “Combined with SD’s advice and recommendations on which tools to use and how to optimise them and troubleshoot in flight […] means I always know what is going on. This is important for a busy aircraft frequently flying around the globe.”

A different version of the antenna which uses a different wavelength, the KA-band, was tested using a prototype on SD’s Gulfstream G550 at the beginning of January.